08/16 - El Lago

This is a picture taken of the Ajijic malecon in July 2011 when we first arrived. Notice that the lake level is right up to the little sea wall that sits about 10 ft. in front of the actual malecon wall.  The lake level was high back then and this picture was taken at the early part of the rainy season.  I remember watching men fishing along the sea wall.  It was nice.

                         May 2013                                                  May 2014

Two year later, and into the following year (2014) the lake continued to drop and the water receded at least 100 meters, or more, from the sea wall.  Input to the lake from the river was reduced due to siphoning off some of the water for agriculture upstream.  Input from the 2011, 2012 & 2013 rainy seasons averaged about 30in which is a little lower than average.  

I was a newbie and I was very upset to see the lake level recede.  I was angry at the farmers upstream who were causing this and I wished that there was something that could be done.

                         Mar. 2015                                               Mar. 2015

With a good rainy season in 2014, about 34 in., the lake was starting to recover a bit and we were all hopeful for a good 2015 rainy season to help get the lake up to higher levels.  We all hoped that the evaporation during the "hot season" (Apr/May) wouldn't bring the lake back down to 2012 & 13 levels.  And luckily it didn't.

                    Aug. 16, 2015                                            Aug. 16, 2015

This year the rainy season has been wonderful.  We've had over 35 in. so far this year and if we only get the average rainfall for the balance of the year we will be well over 40+ in. for 2015.  

You can see the impact that a healthy rainy season has on the lake.  When it rains lakeside it normally rains north of here and that causes the reservoirs along the river that feeds into Lake Chapala to fill to capacity.  When they can no longer take any more water they send it down to the lake.  So, good rainy season affects us in two different ways, but both of them are good.

Now that we've been here longer, and I'm no longer a newbie, I've adjusted my view of lake levels.  Higher is better (of course) but don't get all excited when you see the lake start to recede, even if it is a lot more than you thought.  Mother nature and the Virgin of the Lake all have a way of taking care of it, and there's nothing that we can do but sit back and watch it and enjoy it and hope for the best.

But I think that this year is going to be good for the lake and I'll post some more pictures from the same vantage points when the rainy season is over and see how we did.  This is one big lake and it sure takes a long time, and a lot of water to make it go up even an inch.